Lock 4 - Third Welland Canal



Today the north end of St. Catharines, the area between downtown St. Catharines and Lake Ontario, is a fully developed residential area. This wasn't always the case; just 70 years ago the area was still mostly farmland.

From 1881 - 1932 the area was also the route of the Third Welland Canal as it left Port Dalhousie and headed southeast across the north end of St. Catharines toward the Niagara escarpment.

Considering the size of the Third Welland Canal, its difficult to believe there are so few signs that the canal once crossed the city. The process of cleaning up the channel started after the Forth Welland Canal started operating in 1933. By the 1960's only the section closest to Port Dalhousie was left untouched but was increasingly at risk as urban development spread north toward Lake Ontario.

In the end about 1 km of the third welland canal the section closest to Port Dalhousie escaped complete landscaping. It's here that several historical landmarks including locks 2 and 4 of the third Welland Canal are still visible to go look at.

The rest of the channel, while it's been filled in and landscaped can still be seen on maps and overhead photo's of St. Catharines. As an example the photo of the north end of st. catharines shows approximately 3 kilometers of the channel from Carlton St. to Martindale Pond where the canal arrives at Port Dalhousie. Pay special attention to all the streets, parks and other properties that line up with the canal.(Click on photo to see an enlarged version)

The path of the Third Welland Canal can be seen across
St. Catharines from top left to bottom right of photo.

Walking Tour

Since the channel is mostly forgotten, I decided to walk it's length to see what effect the 3rd Welland Canal still had on the city. Granted this may be one of the more unusual walking tours but it was still interesting to see what I came up with. Because of the length I divided the tour into seven sections based on major streets crossed by the canal.

1. Mart. Pond - Ontario St.
2. Ontario St. - Lake St.
3. Lake St. - Geneva St.
4. Geneva St. - Vine St.
5. Vine St. - Grantham Ave.
6. Grantham Ave. Bunting St.
7. Bunting St. - Govt Rd.

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